I found this on my computer today. I may have posted it once, I don’t know. But, here it is again. Funny how some things never change…
That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes a quote will just capture my heart. That is what happened with the quote above. I was just looking for something to write in a card to send to a friend; something to encourage her walk and her journey forward. What I found, instead, was conviction and a chance to evaluate what commanded my attention most. My heart cried out, “I want to become more like the Christ that I love,” but the reality of my life is that there are about a thousand things asking for a place in my heart at any given moment. So, it’s time to evaluate. What am I worshipping? What am I becoming?
I would like to say that I only worship God at any given moment. Oh, how I pray that would be true in my life – and yours! The reality is, however, that is not always true. My husband dominates my thoughts and imagination. He commands my heart and has my devotion. Those are all good things – wonderful things – but they are not the most important thing. Am I worshipping my marriage more than my God?
Like many women, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about and worrying about my weight and appearance. Right or wrong, good or bad, it is something I do (and, if you’re honest, you probably do, too). Am I worshipping the number on the scale? Does what it says dictate my mood, my feelings, and my opinions about the world in general? Sometimes. Am I becoming controlled by a number that did nothing to determine the love of my friends, family, husband or God?
A friend recently showed a powerful verse in Isaiah to me that reminded me of this very struggle. Isaiah 44:19-20 says, “The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, ‘Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a chunk of wood?’ The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He is trusting something that can give him no help at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, ‘Is this thing, this idol that I’m holding in my hand, a lie?’” When compared with the goodness of God, why do we put anything else in His place?
The list of things that easily creep into the place where God belongs could go on and on. Things, people, relationships, even church…they all seem to take the place I should be reserving for God at one time or another. Still, there is hope. There is a promise that God gave me that I could be His, could become more like Him. When I am discouraged about the wrong things dominating who I am, He reminds me that each new day is like a blank page in the book of my life. The sins I committed and the struggles I faced yesterday do not have to keep my focus today. God has already forgiven those sins. Every day I have a new opportunity to become more His, to worship Him more, to let Him dominate my thoughts and capture my imagination with wonder.
I know that most days I will probably mess up more than I care to admit. Something will take my focus off of becoming more like Christ and I will take a few steps backward. At the same time, however, God will continue to make Himself known and present in my world, demanding my attention shift back to Him with subtle reminders of His sovereignty and power. I know there is a battle for my worship taking place. I know that it will continue to get easier to focus on Him through the mess of life. And I know, without a doubt, what I am becoming…